What Are Content Services?

Hyland from ISSI

With the help of ISSI, organizations can shed monolithic document repositories in favor of content services platforms capable of aggregating content across multiple repositories to connect disparate applications.

So, what is content services? Gartner, a leading research and advisory company, coined the term to represent a shift from self-contained systems and repositories to open services.

We believe this evolution also supports changing expectations in how and where content is created, used and shared across organizations.

Content Services: What Is It?

With the transformation of enterprise content management (ECM) to content services, Gartner shared a new market definition in its report, What You Need to Know About Content Services Platforms:

“Content services are a set of services and microservices, embodied either as an integrated product suite or as separate applications that share common APIs and repositories, to exploit diverse content types and to serve multiple constituencies and numerous use cases across an organization.”

— Gartner, What You Need to Know About Content Services Platforms2017.

The Gartner report also states that the practice of content management, collaboration and dissemination is best enabled through a set of services that coordinate content usage by all parties — users, systems and applications.

What Are the Elements of Content Services?

Gartner’s report states that content services consists of platforms, applications and components:

Content Services Platforms

According to Gartner’s report, content services platforms represent the evolution of ECM suites, focused on content management, governance and processing. As the report states, a content services platform will have its own repository and may also integrate external repositories through connectors and APIs or packaged integrations.

Content services platform providers offer integrated sets of content-related services, microservices, repositories and tools that support common content use cases. Common services available with these platforms include document management, search, indexing, categorization, capture, version control, workflow, records management, content analytics and more.

Content Services Applications

Applications provide business solution-focused capabilities, according to Gartner’s report. These applications offer features that can handle certain use cases across the enterprise.

Examples include HR onboarding, vendor invoice management, legal contracts management and insurance claims management.

Content Services Components

Utility-based services add additional capabilities to existing applications and platforms, the Gartner report states.

For example, organizations may leverage a service component that translates English into Spanish, or an application that analyzes and automatically tags content.

Content Services Platform: What Is It? 

A content services platform (CSP) stores and manages various types of data and content types from one centralized, accessible location. The right CSP maintains information governance, facilitates document sharing and accelerates decision-making throughout an organization.

A CSP includes all the capabilities of an ECM platform, such as document management, data capture, indexing and workflow management. The difference is that a CSP solution emphasizes maximum integration with other business applications that are used daily. This allows various types of content (files, audio, videos, etc.) to be accessed via the interface of the respective process applications.

As a result, your employees minimize the need to constantly switch back and forth between systems when accessing or sharing crucial information.

Key Capabilities of a Content Services Platform

When selecting cloud-based CSP software, determine whether its available features truly meet your organization’s demands for ongoing digital transformation. Innovative content services components include:

1. Business Process Automation (BPA)

BPA technologies in a content services solution will streamline document routing, reviews or approvals, task status updates and notifications to users in a workflow. Organizations can set and modify these workflow triggers or build other rules-based processes to improve employee productivity and make informed decisions faster.

2. Low-Code Development 

A low-code-enabled CSP allows your teams to create department-specific processes and deploy automation when they need to. End users can accelerate digital adoption for their respective processes, and IT teams can modify and improve these applications at the end.

3. Integrations & Connectivity

A CSP’s stronghold is its ability to eliminate silos. It is vital that your preferred content services provider is able to integrate with your existing legacy systems, disparate content tools or other business applications.

Your CSP should serve as a systematic and centralized view of all stored content in order to minimize the time-draining and confusing processes your employees must go through to gain access to important information.

4. Search Capabilities 

Organizations receive an incredible amount of data daily — which is subsequently stored in various locations. Employees will find it challenging to access specific documents, especially if they are filed across disparate systems or titled with inconsistent file-naming methods.

That’s why your organization requires a powerful, perceptive search functionality. Advanced search technology enables employees to pull up both unstructured and structured data with dynamic:

  • Intelligent query design tools
  • Results preview from over 500 content formats
  • Relevance rankings

5. Data Security

Your CSP must come with access controls to manage or limit user access to confidential information and prevent data breaches. The right CSP solution supports your organization’s ability to protect documents that are in use, in transit or at rest. Other forms of security measures can come in the form of digital signatures, version control or password security policies to reinforce solid procedures and mitigate risks.

Get Started with ISSI

With ISSI, you can use content services platforms to streamline content management for your business while benefiting from integration, automation, and search capabilities. Contact an expert today to get started.

Contact us to learn more about content services platforms